Skip to comments.Senate Appropriators Want $1B for Unaccompanied Illegal Immigrant Children
Posted on 06/13/2014 7:39:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
WASHINGTON Senate appropriators are moving toward a $1.03 billion spending increase to address the healthcare and shelter needs of thousands of unaccompanied alien children streaming across the nations southern border.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education approved a spending plan this week that includes an attempt to tackle what lawmakers described as an emergency situation by any definition.
Beginning in 2012, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of children fleeing escalating gang and drug violence in Central America, seeking relief in the United States and to reunite with families already living here, said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the subcommittee chairman. This is an urgent humanitarian crisis.
The 2015 spending proposal includes $1.94 billion for the Unaccompanied Alien Children program, a $1.03 billion increase over the comparable fiscal year 2014 level. In addition, the committee expanded the authority of agencies to transfer funds if current trends continue, providing additional opportunities to increase shelter capacity and offer critical support services for children in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services if necessary.
The subcommittee intends to offset the increase by cutting other programs in the $156.7 billion spending package.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who supported the funding increase, said the recent influx of tens of thousands of children entering the country without their parents has resulted in emergency situations in border states. Federal, state and local officials need increased resources to properly shelter, feed and clothe these children as they work to find solutions to these heartbreaking situations.
Providing sufficient funding for child advocates and legal services is essential to ensure children have adequate representation and support as their immigration cases make their way through the judicial process, she said.
The Obama administration has reported that more than 47,000 children have illegally crossed the southern border unaccompanied by their parents since Oct. 1 — a 92 percent increase over the same period in 2013. More than 33,000 have been apprehended along the Rio Grande during that period.
In May alone, about 9,500 children were taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security and transferred to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services — a more than 300 percent increase over May 2013 and 150 percent more than the total number of children in all of fiscal year 2011. Most are arriving from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Authorities expect as many as 60,000 unaccompanied children will cross the Mexican border illegally by years end.
Those apprehended are being warehoused in what generally are considered untenable, unsanitary conditions.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said his office remains vigilant regarding the latest trends and challenges to border security and that he is closely monitoring the substantial increase in the numbers of unaccompanied children who are some of the most vulnerable individuals who interact with our immigration system.
Johnson said he is particularly focused on the emerging situation in the Rio Grande Valley.
On Sunday, May 11th, I traveled to McAllen, Texas to view the situation and saw the children there first hand an overwhelming number of whom were under twelve years old, Johnson said. I have taken steps across the department and in coordination with federal partners to immediately address this issue.
At the direction of President Obama, Johnson said he established an interagency coordination group, led by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, to ensure that federal agencies are unified in providing relief to the affected children.
Johnson said his agency intends to undertake longer-term reforms to address the root cause behind these recent migration trends and will work closely with the governments of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
We must, and we will, address this situation, Johnson said.
But Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said reports indicate the flow of children crossing the border is overwhelming the agencies responsible for their care. He attributed this latest crisis along the nations southern border to the Republican-controlled Houses failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform, asserting that legislation passed last year in the upper chamber would have eased the situation.
Every day the House fails to act, we realize the human cost of doing nothing to fix our broken immigration system, Leahy said. We see the human cost in the gripping photographs of young children, seeking a better life, housed in facilities at the border. The pictures are shocking, and so are the numbers.
In 2011, according to Leahy, 6,560 unaccompanied children crossed the border. Since then, the numbers have skyrocketed.
Just in the last seven months, nearly 50,000 children have already been apprehended and that number will likely double before the end of 2014, he said. President Obama has called this an urgent humanitarian situation. I agree.
But Republicans, like Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, insist that the crisis is directly the result of President Obama’s own policies and it involves tens of thousands of young children risking their lives.
Cornyn asserted the administrations failure to uphold our immigration laws, indeed, his statement that he essentially will not enforce broad swaths of those laws has created an dangerous incentive for children and their parents to cross into the United States under treacherous and horrific circumstances.
These children are being preyed on by drug cartels and human traffickers, and theyre at high risk of being kidnapped, raped, or even killed while traveling in this long dangerous journey to the United States, Cornyn said. But sadly, when they arrive here, we still have no way of guaranteeing their safety because of lack of an adequate plan to deal with this humanitarian crisis.
Cornyn was joined in his condemnation by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who said the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border spiked dramatically in 2012 after the president implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, memorandum instructing various agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to practice prosecutorial discretion toward some individuals who immigrated illegally to the United States as children.
That action, Cruz said, unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who had been minors, leading to a dramatic increase of children being handed over to international drug cartels to be smuggled in here illegally.
These numbers represent children, Cruz said. Little boys and little girls, their parents are handing them over not to some noble social worker trying to help them. They are handing them over to international, global criminal cartels that smuggle human beings in. They put kids, among other places, on top of fast-moving freight trains. They are criminals who assault, sexually assault, and sometimes murder these children. These are little girls that are sometimes being sold into prostitution and sex slavery.”
There is a reason the Constitution says that appropriations start in the House; there is a reason the Constitution specifies that House members must be re-elected every 2 years.
There is a reason that Conservatives state that border security comes FIRST. There is a reason that Conservatives state that existing border law must be followed.
They said 400 a day are coming into the country. An average bus holds 50 -60. You get 4 buses and make two trips and kick them the F out. Why is this so hard? Every major city in the country transports thousands of kids every day by bus. This is because the regime in the White House wants them here.
How much fencing to secure that border would that $1.3 billion buy??
What does it take for Boehner to begin Articles of Impeachment for the Democrats Obama?
RE: How much fencing to secure that border would that $1.3 billion buy??
IT WILL HELP, BUT WON’T BE ENOUGH.
Customs and Border Protection spent $2.4 billion between 2006 and 2009 to complete 670 miles of border fence, and the vast majority of that was single-layer one line of fencing designed to keep either pedestrians or vehicles from crossing into the United States, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
The new plan calls for a double-layer fence two parallel barriers on either side of a corridor manned by Border Patrol that would require more land acquisition, more supplies and more labor to build.
There is no firm cost for the fence outlined in the “border surge” agreement announced Thursday, and the price of previous fence construction has varied wildly.
A 2009 analysis by the GAO found that the cost of pedestrian fencing ranged between $400,000 and $15 million per mile with an average of $3.9 million a mile. The price of less expensive vehicle fencing ran anywhere from $200,000 to $1.8 million a mile, for an average of $1 million a mile.
CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE REST....
Over $23,000 per kid?
Get them each a car and point the south for that money.
40% of the border patrol is “processing” not patrolling. The BP couldn’t even get extra time authorized and they’ve been short-handed - been crippled by lack of funds and this administration. On flyovers, to show that the border security is “stronger than ever” per Obama, they had empty vehicles placed so it looked like more security was out there than the reality on the ground. Instead of having to cough up billions for dealing with the result of no security/enforcement, either spend that same money, or probably less, in stopping the problem before it gets started.
Another issue is Mexico - these kids are not Mexicans, but from other South American countries. They have to come THROUGH Mexico .... who seems to be turning a blind eye. Also, we can’t fly/bus them back to Mexico, because they aren’t Mexican - they need to be transported back to their home countries in South America. The parents are sending their kids KNOWING they’ll get care and not sent back - if the kids start coming back home pronto, this influx at the border will stop.
Use the $1 Billion (with a B) to send their arses back and some of the other illegals we have in Texas, Arizona and California.
No additional funding for ANYTHING except for the costs to safely transport the illegals back to their home countries.
ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS!!
But these same will not appropriate a dime to impeach, remove and jail obama.
And you wonder why we in Maine want to secede.
Let more vets die and suffer without appointments and then start the funding of these illegals.
1 Billion isn’t even a starting point. All of these illegals will need a lot of expensive health care, so take those $’s from Veteran Care.
Then we will have to feed and cloth them and house them and provide classes in Spanish, in a year of less that cost will exceed 1 Billion.
Then, we will bring in their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and anyone claiming to be a relative. So start over with the health care, feeding, clothing and other social benefits costs. Costs that will continue as long as they are in this country sucking up these free benefits.
Let the DNC take care of the costs without our tax $’s.
Doesn’t that pesky Constitution specify that monetary appropriations originate in the House?
People who defended our country get crap....wetback whelps gets cash....sound right for this regime.
There are not “unaccompanied” children they are abandoned children. Their parents are at a minimum guilty of child endangerment.
RE: And you wonder why we in Maine want to secede.
Can a state that continues to vote for Susan Collins and voted for Obama by a huge 16% margin really want to secede?
Those kids are coming her because their parents are already here because Obama has not deported them! This is nothing but a push to get sympathy for AMNESTY.
When the left began to kill millions of American babies
They didn’t think of the huge hole left in our country
And it’s future. They are now pushing kid replacements
over the southern border to fill the need
For the humans they killed. Aborting millions
has consequences. You are now watching how
liberals fix the problem.
I wish you all the worst. May misfortune of every kind, intense and horrible, heinous in nature, befall you and all that you support and do. I hope it's awful.
Here are the committee members: Let them know what you think.
Dick Durbin, Illinois, Chairman
Patrick Leahy, Vermont
Tom Harkin, Iowa
Dianne Feinstein, California
Barbara Mikulski, Maryland
Patty Murray, Washington
Tim Johnson, South Dakota
Jack Reed, Rhode Island
Mark Pryor, Arkansas
Thad Cochran, Mississippi, Ranking Member
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
Richard Shelby, Alabama
Lamar Alexander, Tennessee
Susan Collins, Maine
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
Dan Coats, Indiana
Roy Blunt, Missouri